Who's who: Leo Diegel

  • Photo of Leo Diegel
  • usa.png
  • Leo Diegel
  • Photo of Leo Diegel
  • Photo of Leo Diegel
  • Photo of Leo Diegel
  • usa.png
  • Leo Diegel
  • Photo of Leo Diegel
  • Photo of Leo Diegel

Who's who: Leo Diegel

  • Name:

    Leo Harvey Diegel
  • Also known as:

    The Dieg
  • Country:

    USA
  • Lived:

    [1899-1951]. Born on April 20, 1899 in Gratiot Township, Wayne County, Michigan. Died on May 5, 1951 in North Hollywood, California, aged 52.
  • Original/Home Club:

    Philmont CC, PA (Head Pro).
  • Occupation:

    Professional golfer and teaching professional.
  • Turned Pro:

    1916

Roll of Honour

MAJORS (2): US PGA Champion (1928, '29). Total professional wins (37), including PGA Tour (30). Ryder Cup player (1927, '29, '31, '33). World Golf Hall of Fame (inducted in 2003).

Did you know?

Diegel's first introduction to golf was as a caddie when he was aged 10. Seven years later he won the Michigan Open in 1916, and four years after that in 1920 he was runner-up to Ted Ray in the U.S. Open Championship.

Winner of two U.S. PGA Championships and a total of 30 PGA circuit events, Diegel was known for his excellent ball-striking, but inconsistent putting skills. Following a playful wrestling accident with his friend "Lighthorse" Harry Cooper in 1934, Diegel was left with damaged nerves in his right shoulder. The injury eventually forced him to quit professional tournament golf in favour of becoming a teaching professional.

Top tournaments won by Leo Diegel

1929
America
Kanawaki GC
274 (-6)
$400
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Diegel, Leo

Venue

Kanawaki GC

Score

274 (-6)

Prize money

$400

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Canadian Open (July 25-27). Second-placed Tommy Armour (Scot/USA) finished 3 shots behind defending champion Leo Diegel (USA), who won this title for the fourth time. [Kanawaki GC, Kahnawake, Québec].

1929
America
San Diego CC
282 (-6)
$750
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Diegel, Leo

Venue

San Diego CC

Score

282 (-6)

Prize money

$750

Title sponsor

x

Played as the San Diego Open (Jan 3-6; next played in 1952). Second-placed Horton Smith (USA) finished 1 shot behind defending champion Diegel (USA). [San Diego CC, Chula Vista, CA].

1929
Majors
Hillcrest CC, CA
6 & 4
PGA of America

Category

Majors

Winner (holder)

Diegel, Leo

Venue

Hillcrest CC, CA

Score

6 & 4

Prize money

Title sponsor

PGA of America

The US PGA Championship (12th) (Dec 2-7). Defending champion Diegel (USA) beat Johnny Farrell (USA) 6 and 4 in the 36-hole final. [Hillcrest CC, Los Angeles, CA].

1928
Majors
6 & 5
PGA of America

Category

Majors

Winner (holder)

Diegel, Leo

Score

6 & 5

Prize money

Title sponsor

PGA of America

The US PGA Championship (11th) (Oct 1-6). Diegel (USA) beat Al Espinosa (USA) 6 and 5 in the 36-hole final. [East course, Baltimore CC, Lutherville, Maryland].

1928
America
282 (-6)
$400
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Diegel, Leo

Score

282 (-6)

Prize money

$400

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Canadian Open (July 26-28). Second-placed Macdonald "Mac" Smith (Scot/USA), Walter Hagen (USA) and Archie Compston (Eng) finished 2 shots behind Leo Diegel (USA), who recorded the third of his four wins in this event. [Rosedale GC, Toronto, Ont.].

1927
America
San Diego CC
214 (-2)
$1,000
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Diegel, Leo

Venue

San Diego CC

Score

214 (-2)

Prize money

$1,000

Title sponsor

x

Played as the San Diego Open (Dec 16-18). Second-placed Bobby Cruickshank (Scot) and Horton Smith (USA) finished 2 shots behind Diegel (USA). [San Diego CC, Chula Vista, CA].

1925
America
Lambton GC
295 (+11)
$500
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Diegel, Leo

Venue

Lambton GC

Score

295 (+11)

Prize money

$500

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Canadian Open (July 30-Aug 1). Second-placed Mike Brady (USA) finished 2 shots behind wire-to-wire winner and defending champion Leo Diegel (USA). [Lambton G&CC, Toronto, Ont.].

1924
America
285 (+5)
$400
x

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Diegel, Leo

Score

285 (+5)

Prize money

$400

Title sponsor

x

Played as the Canadian Open (Aug 1/2). Second-placed Gene Sarazen (USA) finished 2 shots behind Leo Diegel (USA). [Mount Bruno CC, Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, nr Montreal, Quebec].

1924
America
287 (-9)
$500
PGA of America

Category

America

Winner (holder)

Diegel, Leo

Score

287 (-9)

Prize money

$500

Title sponsor

PGA of America

Played as the Shawnee Open (July 14/15). Leo Diegel (USA) beat Willie Macfarlane (Scot) in an 18-hole playoff (Diegel 69, Macfarlane 75). The playoff was held on the same day as the final 36 holes of regulation play. [Shawnee CC & Inn, Shawnee on Delaware, Pennsylvania; at the time the Inn was known as the Buckwood Inn].

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